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The Future of Organized Knife Collector Associations

I've been struggling with trying to see what the future of our traditional knife clubs and associations looks like.


For years, our local clubs provided a social gathering for like-minded collectors. Then you also have the regional and national associations providing certain benefits to their members in exchange for dues. These benefits included, among other things, newsletters/magazines, organized knife shows, club knives and identity.


Now it seems these benefits are provided by other means. Moreover, I've observed most folks don't see the need to join these groups. So, have our clubs/associations failed to connect with collectors today? Or what?


I've been interested in promoting knife collecting as a hobby through the Web for many years and have had the opportunity to talk with lots of officers and directors of various clubs/associations, both big and small.

Across the board their challenges are the same:  

  • membership retention
  • aging membership
  • failure to bring in younger collectors
  • recruitment problems
  • lack of know-how to use the Web to promote and provide services/benefits to their members
  • lack of manpower
  • lack of funds
  • And in many cases- lack of leadership, or vision


Have the days of "organized" knife associations gone/are going the way of the dinosaur? What is the future knife collecting association going to look like?








Views: 53

Tags: NKCA, association, dues, future, knife-club, members

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Comment by Halicon on February 17, 2011 at 2:57

I'm with Don on this one. This is a new age while there are also many old-fashioned collectors out there who prefers the should we say traditional method with club meetings, annual small shows and such.


In my opinion those things are on their way out. I know so many awesome craftsmen that started by being teached at distance by a master. They hooked up with cams and just ran the old "show and approve or dislike".

IKC has become an international community, but "blocking" out them by only running your events inside the states, well you won't probably see many non-Americans paying for a membership.


I still don't see why we can't have online meetings with the help of a webcam,there's a ton of programs out there but it shouldn't be impossible at all, and it's about time we realize what many here already has mentioned - it is extremely hard to travel to shows, arrange offline meetings and the like when you also are holding down a job you have to handle.


My proposition is webcam conferences. You obviously can't examine the knife in hand but it sure is a heck lot better than a picture. It will also open up for a wider variety of influence from all the worlds different designs.


For me it would be the only way I would pay for a membership, otherwise I would simply feel left out.

In Memoriam
Comment by Scott King on February 16, 2011 at 19:00
@Clifford- I totally understand. As a father of 4, husband of 1 and self-employed, it does come down to priorities. iKC helps keep me engaged as a collector, thankfully. Thanks for your comment as we all struggle with time and life.
Comment by James "Clifford" Townsend on February 16, 2011 at 18:53
I think like living in a small town personality has gone out the window.  Its become an impersonal world and too many people dont want to get up and do anything and soemtimes you just get distracted or get distracted at the right times and forget this and that...dues, a show, maybe helping out, talking with others and all of a sudden you missed out on so many things.  Some days you blink and realize 3 months have gone by and you didnt do half of what you wanted to do.  And there is so much you can do and say online that keeps people at home where they can learn and see pictures of the stuff they would see at many of the shows.  It makes it easier to just not go.  Its wrong and sucks and it happens.  I cant say what will help these clubs or what wont...just wanted to comment.  Personally with me its too many things on the go and time and money are a hit and miss game.

In Memoriam
Comment by Scott King on February 16, 2011 at 7:56
Everyone- in addition to me asking for how you see the future of organized knife assoc here, I added a forum discussion about if you were to join a "new" assoc. and were paying dues- what member services would you want- here's the link: http://www.iknifecollector.com/forum/topics/if-you-were-to-join-a-k...

In Memoriam
Comment by Scott King on February 16, 2011 at 7:55
@John- sorry for the confusion- I started a forum discussion on a similar topic and your comment is registered there. Thanks for the feedback.
Here it is: http://www.iknifecollector.com/forum/topics/if-you-were-to-join-a-k...
Comment by john a shavel on February 16, 2011 at 5:19
Hey guys .I did add a comment.I don't see it
Comment by Steve wells on February 15, 2011 at 11:27

Well I belong to several---and have had a Ball --going to the Tours and shows is what I like to do.

So what you do in the club is what the club becomes. I am a Case Collector and the membership has grown leaps and bounds,as IKC has done since its begining. So do your best for the Knife Collecting world and

get the kids interested in the knives to carry on. I have 3 kids and all collect,but only 2 Grand Kids

out of 8-----so i guess i will have to work harder on them.


Comment by Roger Cunningham on February 14, 2011 at 10:13
Well said Gary,Max,and Jim.I personally believe Shows are the best thing about clubs.You can look at pictures of knives all you want,be it on the web,books or magazines,but handling them is where it`s at.Talking to other collectors face to face.Looking the guy in the eye most of the time you can tell if he`s full of crap or not.You can`t do that if he`s typing it .I hope the NKCA gets things straight.They have to make some changes.P.S. I sent them some money too.
Comment by Gary Kennedy on February 13, 2011 at 19:54
I think as a whole, knife collecting is having  growing pains . From the old  ( still the only way to meet and get to know your fellow knife collector is at a Gun Show & Knife Show) to the new Ebay  and all the knife Site' s AAPK,  NKCA A, IKC . Case , Blade Forum and so on .  Like Jim &  Max I belong  to various Clubs and web site Forums.   You only get out of it what you put in it.  I think  that if you belong to a club you have the one's that DO and then you have the one's that are a long for the ride . As for the NKCA right now their  having  problems  that we  should help change . Their has  been a lot of good men that have helped get  the NKCA where it is now . There is a  lot of things that the members need to know as to there financial shape and direction that the NKCA  is  heading  . The Museum would not be where it is today if  the members did not donate  their prize collections for our enjoyment .  I would like to see the NKCA  go foward . P.S .PAY YOUR DUES  &   DONATE TO THE NKCA
Comment by Jim Thompson on February 13, 2011 at 19:03
Did not know there was limited space. It let me keep posting but everything I posted does not show. Will probably add some more tomorrow.

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